Right decision, wrong reason
After a public outcry when the news media reported some members of the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio were planning to attend a conference in Hawaii – on the public’s dime – those officials canceled their plans. So have public pension officials from other states, according to organizers of the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems.
The reason many decided to cancel plans for the trip is troubling, however.
Hank Kim, executive director of the NCPERS, told a reporter “headline risk” prompted scores of pension system officials to decide against going to Hawaii. In other words, he elaborated, they were concerned about the public’s perception they were wasting money.
Note it was not the unnecessary expense of holding a conference in Hawaii, but, in effect, worry the public would find out that was involved.
Apparently, it has not occurred to Kim or others that taxpayers are right to insist our money be spent as frugally as possible.